Horsham District Council Chairman, Councillor Philip Circus, gave a ‘huge well done and thank you’ to the one hundred plus adults and children who entered the first Great Horsham Bake Off as they waited eagerly for the judges’ results last Sunday 1 September.
From early on a bright sunny morning Horsham’s home bakers streamed to the Forum with over 200 entries in ten baking categories, with everything from bread and biscuits to tarts and cup cakes. Separate classes included technical challenges and those for children encouraging bakers of all abilities.
The ‘bake off’ took place in a marquee on Horsham town centre’s Forum, which had been beautifully styled by local vintage tea gurus ‘Jam & Tea’.
Lead sponsors, Beales department store, Steamer Trading Cookshop and Waitrose had provided goody bags for entrants and a fantastic prize haul shared by the category winners was worth over £2,000.
Consultant organiser and local foodie Hilary Knight was kept busy guiding the three judging teams of baking professionals and local representatives as they anonymously scored each entry on appearance, taste, texture and overall appeal.
Hilary later said: “The standard of baking skills shown was incredibly high and was testament to the amazing cooking talents present in Horsham’s homes.
“I have received so much fantastic feedback it is clear that there is a real appetite for this type of competition to be repeated.
“A few individuals, naturally, given the passion and hard work involved, have queried some of the results but I can assure everyone that we have been as professional and fair as possible; all winners have been confirmed as being non professionals and we will take all of the feedback into account for next year.”
Horsham District Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Helena Croft, who was a lay judge on one of the teams, said: “The enthusiasm for our first town Bake Off was so high it was really exciting to see.
“The amazing level of creativity and quality of baking made judging a real challenge and clearly showed just how passionate and talented some amateur home bakers really are.
“I am delighted that our Horsham District Council led team have added this successful event to the annual Big Nibble.”
With the results announced, hundreds of people poured through the marquee to see the awesome cakes and baked goods on display.
Demonstrations of cake decorating skills and a harpist educated and entertained while stalls selling refreshments and activities, provided by the soon to be Broadbridge Heath based Skoda Station Garage, kept the show going throughout the afternoon.